Delving Beneath the Surface: How Deep Drilling for Clean Water is Rewriting the Narrative of Health and Opportunity in East Sumba.
Join us in exploring the transformative journey of a community uplifted by Fair Future’s relentless efforts to provide clean water through deep drilling in East Sumba.
Water is life, that’s the incontestable reality here in East Sumba. In this part of the world, it’s not a cliché; it’s a fact, as unyielding as the hard, parched soil we stand on. Today, we delve into one specific project near the small town of Lewa that fundamentally transforms a whole community—more than 2,000 people now have access to clean water and sanitary facilities, thanks to a drilling project undertaken by Fair Future, in collaboration with Kawan Baik and the local beneficiaries.
Our drilling rig punctuates the horizon, contrasting sharply with the simple, wooden homes and the vast, untamed landscapes of East Sumba. The machinery groans, vibrating through the earth to a depth of just over 60 meters. It’s a labor-intensive, resource-heavy endeavor. Drilling deep into the earth’s layers isn’t just technically challenging; it’s also emotionally draining. This is no fairy tale; the work is grueling, the sun relentless, and the stakes immeasurably high.
The reward? Water, gushing forth from underground, tapped and channelled through more than 6,000 meters of HDPE PVC pipes, collected in about 15 storage tanks, each with a capacity of 6,500 liters. It’s water for drinking, cooking, and bathing; it’s water for life, for dignity, for a future.
The story unfolds further in a suite of new sanitary installations, the first of their kind in this village. Built alongside the water supply, these facilities now offer basic sanitation—something many in the developed world take for granted. You can see the transformation in the faces of the villagers; children less plagued by gastrointestinal diseases, gardens are beginning to flourish, and improved nutrition. Women no longer trek long hours to fetch water, freeing them for other crucial tasks like childcare and education.
It’s not just the quality of life that’s transforming; it’s life itself. Clean water radically diminishes the incidence of water-borne and parasitic diseases such as malaria. You see, malaria isn’t just about mosquitoes; it’s intricately connected to water, or the lack thereof. Stagnant pools are breeding grounds for malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Proper sanitation and clean water disrupt this vicious cycle, breaking the chain of transmission, saving lives in the process.
The change is palpable, but let’s not forget: none of this would be possible without the collective effort of everyone involved—Fair Future, Kawan Baik, the local authorities, and of course, you, our supporters and donors. Yet, it’s essential to remember that the fight is far from over. This project is a chapter in an ongoing saga, a story of struggle and resilience against the odds, because clean water is a right, not a privilege.
In a collection of 60 original photos taken by our Fair Future teams, we capture the essence of this monumental endeavour—the sweat, the toil, and the ultimate reward: water. These images aren’t just snapshots; they are testament to the will of a community to better itself and a tribute to the laborious work carried out by every hand that turned a drill, laid a pipe, or built a tank.
So here’s a challenge to you, dear reader: as you view these images and read these words, consider what clean water means to you, and what life would be without it. Let that guide you in your commitment to action, because as we know all too well, action is the lifeblood of change.
No, this isn’t a fairy tale, but it’s a story that needed to be told—directly, assertively, and without embellishment. We are here in the trenches, laying the foundation for tomorrow, for as long as it takes to see a world where access to clean water is not a lottery of geography, but a guarantee for all.
We invite you to be part of this story, to contribute to this ongoing narrative, because every drop of water counts, but every drop of support counts even more. Together, we write the next chapter. Together, we give water, we give life.
We cordially invite all captivated by this unfolding story to explore our photo gallery, witness this extraordinary effort, and further engage with our mission through our Instagram account.
Alex Wettstein – Fair Future Foundation medico-social camp in East Sumba – Rumah Kambera, Lambanapu – The October 26th, 2023.